Here's what people have said so far:
- Sandberg is overly critical of women
- Sandberg is privileged, therefore she can't relate to the struggles of ordinary women
- The real problem is with the system, not with women
It's true, the system has problems. Some things that are perfectly legal in the United States are illegal elsewhere, and for good reason. Employers get away with all kinds of jerkiness, even illegal things, because we don't have enough resources to stop them. Women, especially mothers, are at risk for poverty and there is not enough accountability for the way they are treated. Children have a lot of needs that go unrecognized, and women usually pay the severest penalties for meeting those needs, especially in the workplace.
But. How long are we going to wait for things to change?
I'm not saying women shouldn't fight for their rights. The system is stacked against them, and many legal measures have opened doors of opportunity that used to be closed. Write to your politicians. Petition your employer for more family-friendly measures.
But, let's face it. Women with careers are heavily invested in themselves. Again, you could make the argument (which, I understand, Sandberg does), that the system is unfair. Women often have to work harder to prove their abilities than men do. I don't think Sandberg is suggesting that it's all women's fault.
But if they keep doing the same things at work while expecting politicians or employers to make things better, how long will they be waiting? Are we supposed to wait around? Spend all our time on advocacy?
So what if Sandberg suggests that women can change themselves? It's not an either/or proposition. I don't think she's suggesting that it's all women's fault. Nor am I. I would love to see some major changes in the culture, in the government, and in the workplace, and I'm going to fight for them as best I can. But doing so doesn't mean I can't work on personal development while I'm at it. Systemic change creates opportunity and growth, it's true, AND growth can also create change.
I vote for both.